Evaluation of EU Rules on Databases

Interesting development on database protection tracked by BLOG@IP::JUR


‘[…] The European Commission has published an evaluation of the protection EU law gives to databases. EU law protects databases by copyright if they are sufficiently creative. Other databases, especially those that are compilations of information or commonplace data, such as telephone directories, music charts or football match listings, may benefit from a new form of protection introduced by the 1996 Database Directive. This protection is known as the ‘sui generis’ database right, i.e. a specific property right for databases that is unrelated to other forms of protection such as copyright. The evaluation focuses on whether the introduction of this right led to an increase in the European database industry’s rate of growth and in database production. It also looks at whether the scope of the right targets those areas where Europe needs to encourage innovation. Stakeholders are invited to comment on the evaluation by 12 March 2006. […]’

The evaluation paper is available EXTERNAL LINKhere. Policy options discussed therein are:

* Option 1: Repeal the whole Directive;
* Option 2: Withdraw the ‘sui generis’ right;
* Option 3: Amend the ‘sui generis’ provisions; and
* Option 4: Maintaining the status quo.

‘[…] Before deciding on its future policy approach with respect to the ‘sui generis’ protection for ‘non-original’ databases, the Commission services deem it appropriate to further consult stakeholders on the four policy options outlined above. Stakeholder consultation should also provide further evidence on the economic impact of ‘sui generis’ protection in stimulating the production of European databases. Stakeholders are invited to submit their observations by 12 March 2006.'”

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